Innovations in Development, Translational Research and Manufacturing of CAR T cells

Immunotherapy with genetically engineered immune cell products is a transformative treatment modality with potential applications in various fields of medicine. A prime example is chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells in hematology and oncology, and the advent of CAR T cell therapies to treat infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. The medical need and demand from patients and caregivers require radical innovations to accelerate and improve pre-clinical development and clinical translation, provision of gene-transfer vectors, and immune cell product manufacturing as well as a critical reflection and discussion on ethical and socioeconomic aspects.

The goal of this special issue of Frontiers in Immunology is to provide a comprehensive and multi-faceted view on the current state-of-the-art, imminent and future directions the field is taking in order to accelerate the pre-clinical development, clinical translation, and manufacturing of CAR T cells, increase access and sustainability of CAR T cell therapy for health care systems (in developed and in developing countries). This special issue will focus on the medical and scientific dimension incl. approved and emerging indications, new areas in medicine, advanced gene-transfer and gene-editing technologies, innovations in pre-clinical assessment (efficacy, toxicology, genomic safety), innovations in scalable automated manufacturing (bioprocessing), the implementation of high content data acquisition, machine learning and artificial intelligence, innovations in clinical trial design; and consider the ethical, socioeconomic and societal dimension of CAR T cells in particular and gene-engineered immune cell therapy in general.

For this special issue, we do invite submissions of original articles, brief original articles incl. case studies/use cases, review articles incl. systematic reviews and meta-analyses, perspectives, and commentaries.

The topics in focus are:
Medical applications for CAR T cell therapy; Pre-clinical models and assessment; Innovative Automated Bioprocesses; Implementation of Machine Learning & AI; Risk assessment and ethics of gene-engineered immune cell therapy; Patient access and pharmacoeconomics of CAR T cell therapy.

Topic Editor Michael Hudecek is the co-founder and equity owner of T-CURX GmbH, Würzburg, Germany. Michael Hudecek further declares to have received financial support from Novartis, Kite/Gilead, BMS/Celgene and Janssen. Hélène Negre is employed by Servier IRIS company since 2019 or she the co-founder of Biotherapy partners. Her husband is CSO of Smart-Immune in Paris. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.

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April 30, 2018